MONEY MAYHEM America seems to be getting bad grades... not in the classroom, but in its economy. The country was rated at Triple A, now it's only double A plus. It still sounds pretty good, but the change could have a bad impact on the global economy. FLOOD RECOVERY When was the last time you had a banana? Lots of kids aren't packing them in their lunch boxes anymore, because they've become really expensive lately. It's all to do with the Queensland floods which wiped out banana crops earlier this year. BtN takes a look at how the flood recovery program is going, and tries to find out when bananas might return to old prices. YOUTH SLEEP OUT On any given night in Australia 105,000 people are homeless and nearly half of these people are under the age of 25. BtN meets a group of school kids who are spending a night sleeping rough, as they try to raise awareness about the issue of youth homelessness. DENTAL DECAY How often do you brush your teeth? Well, it should be twice a day. But the latest research says lots of kids are only doing it once a day. So it's no surprise that tooth decay is on the rise among Aussie kids. COMPETITIVE AEROBICS Aerobics is an activity you may have taken part in during P-E class. But did you know it can also be a competitive sport? Alfie gets a lesson from an aerobics team and discovers it's not just for girls.
CENSUS Census day is on the way, meaning the government will attempt to collect information about everybody living in Australia. We look at why they want the data, and discover what a census can teach us about the way we live. (Tash) THE NEWS EQUATION At BtN we're always reporting on stories that have been in the news. In this report we're going to look at some important stories that haven't been making it in the news recently... and try to explore why that's the case. What are the factors that make news bosses pick one story over another? (Nathan) RAMADAN We're into the month of Ramadan. It's the most important event in the Islamic calendar. So what is it all about? (Kirsty) SUMATRAN TIGER We look at the impact of mass deforestation in Sumatra, Indonesia. There are concerns about what it's doing to the habitat of endangered Sumatran tigers. The trees are being removed to supply countries, including Australia, with paper for offices. (Nathan) OPERA Opera has been around for ages.. and some people reckon it's even influenced some of the music we hear today. To find out more about it, Kirsty meets two budding opera singers who show her it's much more than just belting out a tune. (
AFRICA AID Over the past few decades Australia has experienced its fair share of droughts. For us, a drought can mean crops and animals suffering. But over in East Africa the situation is threatening millions of lives. It's potentially far more deadly than anything else happening on earth... yet we don't hear much about it. PRICE OF FAME When many kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up... the answer is often, "famous". Whether it's through music, TV or sport, it doesn't matter. It's often simply the recognition that people desire. But we often read about celebrities struggling to cope under the pressures of fame. So is fame all it's cracked up to be? TEEN SLEEP If you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, then there could be a good reason why. It might not be that you're just lazy. It might not be that you've stayed up too late watching TV. It could actually be down to some biological changes that happen in teenagers. Nathan explains. COMICS Comic books have been bringing joy to kids for decades. And they're a great way for kids to learn to read. But these days, with easy access to TV and the Internet, are comics still popular? SRI LANKAN FOOTY We're always hearing that football players are a bit like movie stars these days. Well, it's not as ridiculous as it sounds... because a few of them are about to make their debut on the big screen. A new doco follows some AFL players as they travel to Sri Lanka to sell the Aussie Rules message to a nation that's more used to catching cricket balls.
PHONE HACKING For years journalists have snooped around trying to sniff out good stories to put in the news. But now the snooping techniques of a small group of journalists in the UK have made people very angry. It's led to a massive police investigation and has forced the closure of Britain's biggest selling newspaper. CARBON TAX The proposed carbon tax has turned into the biggest political issue facing Prime Minister Julia Gillard. We go beyond the jargon to try to explain what a carbon tax actually means. And we find out why it's splitting opinions. SPACE MISSIONS When you think of NASA, you think of astronauts and space missions. But that might be about to change. NASA has brought home its last space shuttle and announced that no more will be going up. So what does this all mean for space exploration? POLICE HORSES Police work can be a dangerous job, but it's not only humans who put themselves on the front line. We look at the role of police horses and find out why they're still considered to be such an effective part of policing. And what does it take to train a horse to be ready for a role with the police? FENCING The sport of fencing has been around for centuries and is one of the oldest sports at the Olympics. So why is it that not many people take it up? Tash takes a look at how the sport is played and meets some bright young Aussies who are making their mark.
KIDS AT WORK The laws about the hours kids can work have just changed. Retailers have welcomed it and unions have slammed it. So who are the winners? Tash finds out what's changed and asks the kids affected what they think. EOFYS It's nearly the end of another year. But not the calendar year, it's the financial year! Besides shops pushing events like EOFYS, Nathan looks at why this time of year is very important. MOUSE PLAGUE Mice are causing our farmers way more problems than one an annoying mouse in the house ever could. Kirsty looks at the damage the mouse plague is causing and why mice are so difficult to control. ASIA LIFE SAVERS Around 300,000 kids drown in Asia each year. The Royal Life Saving Society hopes to slash that number with an education program it's running in Bangladesh. So far it's proving to be a success, and it's hoped it could be introduced to more countries in the region. TABLE TENNIS CHAMP Making it to the top of any sport is tough enough. But imagine doing that after fleeing your war-torn country and living with cerebral palsy! Kirsty meets the teenager who's tipped to take out gold in table tennis at the Paralympics.
ASH CLOUD An ash cloud from a volcano in Chile is causing serious disruption to flights in Australia. How did it get all the way over here? And why are some airlines flying, while others are keeping their planes on the ground? UNDERWATER MINING We look at plans for an underwater copper and gold mine near Papua New Guinea. It will be the first underwater open cut mine in the world. Some scientists are worried that the mining could be harmful to the ecosystem of the sea bed. DAILY BREAD Have you ever wondered about Australia's fascination with bread? From toast in the morning to sandwiches in your lunch box - we eat a lot of it. We're going to look at the huge bread-making industry. And we'll reveal why some types of bread are considered to be more healthy than others. COWBOY SCHOOL A school is taking boys out of the classroom for a lesson in balance, discipline and team work. They're part of a school rodeo club. And despite taking a few tumbles, the boys are keen to hone their cowboy skills. TWICE THE TALENT We meet a young woman who is about to become the first Australian to play in the World Cup in two different sports. She's already won a world cup with the Australian cricket team... and now she's heading off to the represent Australia at the soccer World Cup.
E. COLI Thousands of people have been made sick and 22 have died after an outbreak of E. Coli. It started in Germany and has spread through Europe and has even reached the U.S. Now Australian doctors have been warned to look out for the symptoms here. So, what is E. Coli and how does it start? CLOUD COMPUTING These days we have so many devices in our lives. Computers, laptops, phones, mp3 players, tablet computers, digital cameras and more. This week Apple has announced the next technology breakthrough will be in "cloud computing". So, what is it, and how will it affect you? ABSTRACT ART A 4 year old Australian girl has just sold one of her paintings for $24,000. Some art lovers have praised her natural talents. But just as many are saying that a child throwing paint at a canvas isn't really art at all. So, what is art? And in the world of abstract art, how can you tell the difference between a masterpiece and a mess? GOOD MANNERS In the past, a lot of importance was placed on having good manners. There were even special schools devoted to learning what was polite and proper. So what about today? Are we letting our manners slip? Or have we developed a different idea about what it means to be polite? TASSIE DEVILS A few years ago BtN reported on the problems facing Tasmanian Devils. They were in danger of being wiped out by an unusual disease. Since then a team of zoo keepers has been working hard to save these iconic Australian animals.
CARBON AD There's been a lot of controversy this week over a new TV ad. It's not selling a product... instead it's selling an idea. The ad uses celebrities to try to convince people that a carbon tax is a good thing. But why go to the expense of trying to gain people's support... when the government's already made up its mind? LIVE EXPORTS There's been a lot of talk lately about whether Australia should be exporting livestock like sheep and cattle overseas. Some shocking vision has come out showing animals being treated badly. Now, some people want livestock exports banned. RIPPED OFF? Consumer group Choice says Australian shoppers are being ripped off. It says the same item of shopping can often be bought overseas for much less. So how do shops justify charging higher prices in Australia, and what can we do about it? TV CAMERA TV cameras used to be large, heavy... and difficult to move around. But now, thanks to new technology, they're a lot easier to use. And it might surprise you to learn they don't even need a person to operate them! Sean's gone behind the scenes to find out how we use cameras to make the news. CONDUCTOR They're one of the key players in an orchestra... but this person doesn't even make a noise. And they don't belong with woodwind, brass, strings OR percussion. We're talking about the conductor. It's an unusual job... and as Tash found out, there's a lot more to conducting than waving around a baton.
STRONG DOLLAR We often hear on the news about the strong Aussie dollar... but what does it mean? BtN looks at why a strong dollar is good news for some and bad news for others. TORNADO More than a hundred people have been killed by a series of tornadoes that hit parts of the US. We find out more about tornadoes, and how they start. HEAD KNOCKS Getting to the top in sport can sometimes mean putting your body on the line. But is our desire to win so strong, that we're prepared to put our health at risk? We look at why some sports have changed the way they deal with head injuries. POSTURE PROBLEM You've probably been told at least once before, to sit up straight. We explain why your posture is really important for your health. And we look at the latest research which suggests that modern technology is creating a posture problem for kids. REFUGEE KIDS Australia's known as a multicultural country, because people from all over the world come here to live. For refugees who now call Australia home, it's a fresh start. But it can also be really challenging for kids as they try to adapt to the culture of a new country. We take a look at a fun program helping a group of African boys find their feet.
ASYLUM DEAL BtN looks at the government's new plan to deal with asylum seekers who try to get into Australia by boat. Is the swap deal with Malaysia in the best interests of Australia? And why does the government think that the new plan will stop people smugglers? INFORMATION FOOTPRINT We leave traces of ourselves everywhere... whether it's signals from our phones, information from our bank cards or when we're giving away details on facebook. We look at our information footprint, and what can happen if our details fall into the wrong hands. ORGANIC FOOD Business experts have tipped organic food to be this year's fastest growing industry. But what does organic actually mean? And what has to happen so that a food can be sold with an organic label? MACQUARIE ISLAND Macquarie Island is part of Australia, about half way between New Zealand and Antarctica. It's full of penguins and seals and other great wildlife. But there's a problem. Rabbits and rodents which were brought to the island are now running out of control and destroying the habitat. We look at an extraordinary $25 million plan to rid the island of pests. BODY BOARDER Most kids hop on a body board when they're young... and then move up to surf boards as they become more skilled. But did you know that body boarding is a sport in its own right? We join a professional body boarder as he holds a master class for a group of kids.
WEB CHAT We all know that it can be hard to keep a secret, especially if it's a really juicy one. But did you know that some secrets are so important that the law can get involved to make sure no-one blabs. These things called suppression orders can stop the media from revealing a story if a judge thinks it is either not in the public interest, or could affect a court case. But the power of the courts is being challenged... by an online thirst for information. FOOD ALLERGIES A study has found that Aussie kids have the highest rate of food allergies in the world. We look at what it's like living with a serious food allergy. We also learn the difference between having a food allergy and being food intolerant. TV TRICKS MasterChef, Australian Idol, Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars... these are some of Australia's most popular TV shows in recent years. And while they're different shows... about completely different things... in some ways they're actually all the same. James looks at the reality TV template... and the tricks TV producers use to make their programs a hit. ALIEN SEARCH The idea of aliens on other planets isn't just something made up for the movies. There are scientists who take the possibility really seriously. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the US searching for signs of life on other planets. But now a cut to their funding means the search for extraterrestrial life is under threat. BOARD GAMES With lots of new technology and fun gadgets to play with, kids seem to be spending less time playing traditional board games. Some teachers reckon that board games can be really good for developing the brain and for learning about strategies. We visit one school which has decided to teach board games as part of the curriculum.
OSAMA BIN HIDING Osama Bin Laden, the leader of terrorist group Al Qaeda, has been killed by the US army. We look at why his death is being celebrated by many American people. Who was he, and what will his death mean for the future of Al Qaeda? NT INTERVENTION 4 years ago BtN reported on the poor treatment of children in indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. The Federal government had just declared the situation an emergency, and sent soldiers, police and doctors in to try to help. It became known as an "intervention". We look at the arguments for and against the intervention and examine whether people think it's working. VOLUNTEER WEEK It's National Volunteer Week, so we decided to spend some time with some amazing young volunteers. We join a group of school kids who've been giving up their time to look after the residents of an old people's home. SHAKESPEARE IN SCHOOL Are you bored with the bard? Why is it that we have to learn Shakespeare in schools? Some people love it, but for others it seems irrelevant and hard to understand. Nathan mounts an argument in support of Shakespeare. BIKE BOY We meet a teenager who's zooming through the ranks in the Australian Superbike Championships. He's only been in the sport for about three years but is already making his mark.
A ROYAL LIFE Many girls dream of being a Princess, but the reality of the role might put a lot of people off the idea. We look at what's in store for Kate Middleton as she becomes part of the royal family. We discover that being a Princess is a full time job and involves a lot of sacrifice. CARBON TAX You've probably heard the words 'carbon tax' and 'carbon price' on the news recently. It's an issue that the government has been trying to resolve for some time now. But what does it all mean and why is it such a controversial subject? TEACHER FOR A DAY To be a teacher you need years of training and the right kind of personality. It can be a difficult and demanding job. We sent Nathan back to school... to see how he would manage being a teacher for a day. ASTHMA Asthma affects more than 2 million Australians every year, including one in nine kids. It's a pricey health problem, costing around half a billion dollars a year to treat asthma sufferers. And with today being World Asthma Day, we thought we'd look a little deeper into what it's all about. BADMINTON It's a racquet sport... with no ball. We learn about badminton and catch up with a young star of the sport. We also look at the history of the game... and we examine the science behind how the shuttlecock works.
PARTY POLITICS The Federal election was close... and now things are split at the state level too with each party having 3 state Premiers. Are Australian voters really divided? Or could it be that the political parties are often so similar that it's hard to choose between them? We look at what each party was originally created to represent... and we examine why things aren't so clear cut these days. ROYAL FAMILY The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is in a few weeks. A new survey suggests that all the build-up has made the Royal family more popular in the UK. But what about in Australia? Tash looks at the pros and cons of Australia being under a monarchy. GREEN TEA Drinking green tea has for a long time been considered to be good for your health. What started as a huge industry in Asia has moved over to a small part of Australia. It's taken about a decade, but Aussie farmers reckon they could be brewing the best green tea harvest yet. Kirsty looks into how it's grown and what it does for our bodies. EASTER SYMBOLS As it's the last BtN before Easter we thought we'd take a closer look at the way Australians celebrate this holiday. For some people it's an important religious celebration...for others it's about chocolate eggs and the Easter bunny. We explain some of the meanings behind the traditions. HAND BALL You've probably played handball at school before... but did you know that there's a real sport called handball and it's even played at the Olympics. It's a big hit in Europe and it's becoming more popular over here too. We catch up with a group of young handball players and take you through some of the rules.
LIBYA STRIKE While the fighting was raging on in Libya between Colonel Gaddafi's supporters and those that want him out... another fight was going on a long way away from there. But this battle was very different. It was between people in a meeting room, and the outcome has changed the whole course of the Libya war. Nathan examines the UN's role in the Libya conflict. CHRISTMAS ISLAND Anyone watching the news over the last few years, would be forgiven for thinking that Christmas Island was nothing more than a great big detention centre. But there's so much more to this Australian Island. A group of school kids from Christmas Island make a video for BtN to show what life is really like for the community that live there. DUCK HUNTING It's that time of year when you wouldn't want to be mistaken for a duck. Duck hunting season is underway in some parts of Australia and it's got a lot of people in a flap. Animal rights groups want the sport to be banned.. but hunters say it's fun and great for the economy. CHOCOLATE UNWRAPPED Easter is just around the corner, and it's a huge day for the chocolate industry. But what else is underneath those glossy wrappers? Well it depends on the type of chocolate, whether it's dark, milk or white. Kirsty unwraps one of our favourite foods to find out exactly how it's made. BALLET BOYS We catch up with a group of boys who love ballet. They want to dispel the myth that ballet is just for girls. We find out that it takes an incredible amount of strength to be a good ballet dancer, with one study even suggesting they're fitter than professional swimmers.
JAPAN KIDS We look at how Japanese school kids are coping after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit their country. We also see how they are able to continue with their normal lives in the middle of such tragedy. NUCLEAR POWER The earthquake and tsunami may only be the start of the trouble facing Japan. The disaster has caused explosions at a nuclear plant, and there are concerns that it could threaten the health of people living nearby. It's reignited the debate about the safety of nuclear technology, and it's a debate that has significance in Australia. RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE Elephants make really deep noises that we can't pick up with our human ears. Scientists have worked out a way to listen to the sounds and are starting to learn more about the ways elephants communicate. F1 FUTURE The Formula 1 season returns this month. Last time Aussie driver Mark Webber came close to winning the title. We look at the next generation of drivers hoping to break into F1. WORLD MUSIC Music is so much more than the stuff we hear on the radio and in the charts. We visit a World Music festival and explore the link between music and culture. We also come across some unusual instruments.
PETROL PRICES Aussies are bracing themselves for higher fuel prices as a result of the recent unrest in the Middle East. We look at why petrol prices are affected by the political situation in certain countries. We also explore the impact of petrol prices on everyday life. ONE AND A HALF MEN The makers of hit TV show Two and a Half Men fired lead actor Charlie Sheen for misbehaving. But where does that leave the cast and crew of his show? And why do they need to stop making episodes? Well, TV might have bright lights and famous actors... but when it comes down to it... it's still just a business. TV TEXT Deaf people rely on TV captioning to enjoy their favourite shows. We look at how TV captioning works, particularly during live broadcasts. We also examine why some people think the standard of the subtitles is getting worse. DUMB DOGS How smart are dogs? We look at research which suggests that modern domesticated dogs aren't as smart as their canine ancestors. So why are dogs getting dumber? ICE HOCKEY Tash looks at the sport of Ice Hockey and meets up with some young guys who are about to travel to Taiwan for the World Championships. So what does it take to get to the top in this fast-paced physical sport?
LIBYA Dictator Gaddafi says 'all my people love me' yet the UN says more than 1,000 people have been killed and 100,000 have fled Libya in a week. So what's happening there? Kirsty looks at the country, its leader and the international response to this increasingly unstable situation. MILK WARS With major supermarkets going head-to-head over the price of milk there are concerns it could devastate the dairy industry. Nathan investigates the cost of getting milk from the cow to the carton and who the winners and losers might be if this battle continues. TASTES LIKE CHICKEN Chicken has overtaken beef as Australia's favourite meat and consumption is forecast to rise. So how is the industry keeping up with demand? Tash enters an industry operating on a scale you'll find hard to believe. MOVIE MAGIC Most blockbusters rely on special visual effects but there's one kid who's practising the craft without the big budget. Kirsty checks out his work and meets the Hollywood legend passing on some tips. MARCHING BANDS Their members are on the march, but are they marching out the door? Tash meets the young musicians who are desperate to get enough kids to keep their band alive.
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